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Franklin , Disaster Management Consultant , The Nilgiris. e-mail: ABSTRACT The objective of this paper is to explain the functioning and the parameters with specifications of a simple early warning system appropriate for Hilly region and anywhere in India, with adequate regional and global linkages capable of conveying alert warning messages of any scale or type in the event of an impending hazard to the last miles. The approach is simple and used by disaster managers to communicate the community before or during any kind of Disaster or Emergency. Addition of various kinds of interface and further enhancement of the model is also viable to bring more efficiency in the system. EWS can also be used to forecast the weather, the daily news, and any public welfare schemes to the villagers. Key words : Early warning system (EWS), Disaster, Emergency, interface.

Introduction India has been vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of natural, as well as, human-made disasters on account of its unique geo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. It is highly vulnerable to floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, avalanches and forest fires. Out of 35 states and union territories in the country 27 are disaster prone. Almost 58.6 per cent of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of moderate to very high intensity; over 40 million hectares (12 per cent of land) are prone to floods and river erosion; of the 7,516 km long coastline, close to 5,700 km is prone to cyclones and tsunamis; 68 per cent of the cultivable area is vulnerable to drought and hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches. Hazard Profile of India. India is one of the ten worst disaster prone countries of the world. The country is prone to disasters due to number of factors; both natural and human induced, including

adverse geo climatic conditions, topographic features, environmental degradation, population growth, urbanisation, industrialization, non scientific development practices etc. The factors either in original or by accelerating the intensity and frequency of disasters are responsible for heavy toll of human lives and disrupting the life supporting system in the country. The basic reason for the high vulnerability of the country to natural disasters is its unique geographical and geological situations. The natural geological setting of the country is the primary basic reason for its increased vulnerability. The geo-tectonic features of the Himalayan region and adjacent alluvial plains make the region susceptible to earthquakes, landslides, water erosion etc. Though peninsular India is considered to be the most stable portions, occasional earthquakes in the region shows that geo- tectonic movements are still going on within its depth. Along with the natural factors discussed, various human induced activities like increasing demographic pressure, deteriorating environmental conditions, deforestation, unscientific development, faulty agricultural practices and grazing, unplanned urbanisation, construction of large dams on river channels etc. are also responsible for accelerated impact and increase in frequency of disasters in the country. The Vulnerable profile of the country makes us to practice risk reduction and be prepared to overcome any disasters. (Statics Source:

Early Warning System a Pilot Project in The Nilgiris District

Vulnerability Profile of Nilgiris District, Tamilnadu Losses caused by disasters persist year after year throughout the world. To overcome such situations, an effective disaster management strategy to lessen the impact of disaster is increasingly a felt necessity and the need for strengthening organizational structure for disaster management is widely accepted. Simple Early Warning System as a pilot Project in the Hilly District of Nilgiris. The Nilgiris district enjoys sub-tropical to temperate climate with rainfall received through four distinct seasons viz., winter and summer (December-March), pre monsoon (April-May), South- West Monsoon (June- August and North-East monsoon (OctoberNovember& December). The major contributors of rainfall are the South-West monsoon and North- East monsoon, and about 80% of average rainfall is received through these monsoons.

Pre-monsoon showers of higher intensity occur during April-May and during North-East monsoon period. There is a continuous rainfall right from the first week of June to first week of December. The rainfall received during the South West monsoon is mostly drizzle type with low intensity accompanied by high velocity winds while the high intensity rains are generally received during the North-East monsoon. Thus the steep hilly terrain and high rainfall coupled with biotic factors make the Nilgiris District quite vulnerable for floods as well as land slide and land slips. The Nilgiris has a history of landslide, the literature has a recorded of landslide from 1924 onwards. Over view of Disaster Management Practices in Nilgiris. Nilgiris district is a multi hazard prone district in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Types of Disaster: ( Experienced in the District)

Common Natural Disasters Cyclonic wind Heavy Rain

Human Made Disaster Fire House / Forest Accident Railway Road /


Chemical Explosive


Landslides Earthquake Forest Fires Hail Storm

Wild Animal Attacks

The Nilgiris District has faced several disasters in the past, November 2009 being the most fresh in memory. For addressing these issues, the District Administration has changed its approach to be proactive rather than reactive. As part of the same, trainings at all levels are being imparted and progressed. Hazard Risk Vulnerability Assessment is carried out to reduce the impact of any kind of disaster. Mitigation activities are planned and executed, the main stake holders who are involved in addressing the disasters are strengthened by

providing emergency kits and trainings. Community Based Disaster Management approach has also been adopted to put up safe shelters into use at times of need. The district administration is practicing new approaches to minimize the loss and damages.

Early Warning System a new approach Though there are many studies relating to early warning which save the lives and minimize the damages the process of creating a simple early warning system has not been defined or attempted to fulfill the gross hood issues for creating a simple early warning system. The set of early warning system created in the costal district did not serve the purpose and was defunct. This is because the applications do not match the need or the viable is in a higher end. On the other hand the interval of disaster happenings varies for years and the system created for the purpose becomes isolated from use. This becomes a challenging issue to the developing countries like India. However the current system in disaster

management preparedness and forecasting are so excellent, but taking the message to the last mile (to the Village level) becomes the challenge. To overcome this challenge a Simple Early Warning System has been designed which is an effective communicative tool connecting the last mile from in the universe. This project is a tailor made product which could inter face any communication device to this early warning system. First Time in India As per the records it was found that there are no simple early warning systems existing in our Nation. This simple early warning system could be claimed as the first invention for Disaster- Simple Early Warning System.

Components and formula of the Simple Early Warning System. A complete and effective EWS comprises of four elements spanning the knowledge of risks to preparedness to act on early warning. These elements include (i) risk knowledge monitoring, (ii) warning service dissemination, capability (community response). The early warning system has a wider scope and is enhanced through a digital base system. This Early Warning system Comprises of a customized GSM module, a Transistor (iii) communication and (iv) response

Radio and an audio, Amplifier connected to the Mike and the Sound Horn. This system can be upgraded to higher model as per the requirements. The system telecasts scheduled radio news on the weather forecast and news on daily basis. This can be rescheduled or operated from the disaster managers end (Emergency Operation Centre) by sending SMS During the disaster or emergency periods the systems announces the emergency activities to be done. The Emergency announcement can be done only by the authorized persons registered with the system. The number of the authorized persons can be added as per the requirements. When the emergency manager calls, the system recognizes the caller and the system automatically switches on the amplifier and the call is attended. The announcement made by the emergency manager is carried out to the villages through the sound horn, which has wide coverage. When the emergency manager disconnects the call, the system shuts down the amplifier and other accessories so the battery power is not utilized. Even during the power cut times the emergency warning system can be operated for several times with the battery back up. Announcements from authenticated sources can be given by connecting to EWS. The Device also intimates the Disaster Manager about the capacity of the battery level so as to take necessary action. Any kind of interface from any other device could be easily connected to the Simple Early System. For instance UHF Frequency, VHF Frequency, any Mobile Frequency, HAM Radio, any kind of wireless devices, FM, TV station. The System can be activated from anywhere in the universe, the NDMA, SDMA,DDMA, IMD or any other emergency managers could address from their own place to the last mile connectivity. This is instant and real-time. False alarms can be avoided with the most accurate detection technology EWS can be enhanced with Remote system diagnostics and has upgraded capabilities. The specialized furniture provided for the system make the system to be secured and from misuse of the Early Earning System. This is a low cost project very simple but highly useful. After a 30 days demonstration in the demo unit, This Project has been launched successfully in Nilgiris District

This project will be a multipurpose project which will definitely be useful to the community for gaining their knowledge. Land Slide Monitoring and interface of the Simple Early Warning System. As a part of future work a real-time monitoring of rain through specialized rain gauges and interface devices is under progress. The specialized device will automatically calculate the variations through threshold model using specialized software and the system will generate alarm to the disaster managers. The various stages are calculated and decoded in a very simple form as alert or warning and the same will be communicated to the villagers (region specific) so as to take timely action. This project is under demonstration in the demo unit. Conclusion: This project is successfully completed and it will be dedicated to the Nation. The entire aim of the Simple Early Warning System is to safeguard the citizens of our Nation. There is less possibility of the system to turn as error and it is sure that there will be cheers and happiness saying that we are the part of the term WE SAVED LIVES.
Plates showing operations of the Simple Early Warning system from Demo Unit

Collectors Visit to the Demo Unit

Village Planting and Operations

Inauguration of Early Warning System

Collector inaugurating the Early Warning System in Bharath Nagar Village

Acknowledgement I have immense pleasure to bring out the Simple Early Warning System which is a multi disciplinary unit, focusing to give alert, warnings during disaster situations. I am very much thank full for the then and the District Collector Smt.Archana Patnaik IAS., for motivating me to take up this project and its successful completion. I am also thankful to Mrs. Alphonsa Christy, Mr. Anandan, and Mr. Prakash, Mr,Nandhakumar, Spectrum Technologies who teamed up with me to succeed in the project. The Project Director, Hill Area Development Programme, udhagai, also contributed his advice for timely completion. I also extend my thanks to all my staff and co-officers and the team, I whole heartedly thank my mender the CREATOR who inspired me to bring out a successive model M.Franklin The Nilgiris 0091-9894271375